While it may go unnoticed, every room in a house needs a ceiling for functional as well as aesthetic reasons. Although the most important thing is that the ceiling helps keep you warm and dry, its design can completely alter the look and feel of a room. In addition, whether adding custom ceilings as a remodel project or including different options in a new home build, paying attention to how different types of ceilings physically impact each space is important. From cost-effective, classic choices that go largely unnoticed to special designs that are great at hiding wires, maximizing acoustics, and adding artistic flair, the effects that a room's ceiling has are far greater than just protecting your head.
However, this job only seems complicated and expensive. In fact, hanging a ceiling is just a bit more difficult than hanging drywall. On average, homeowners pay $1,562 for ceiling installation. However, while this number includes various job types and sizes, considering the type and the extent of the work needed to complete it is essential when it comes to predicting the cost of this home improvement project.
What Type of Ceiling Do You Need?
The type of ceiling desired or required in a particular room is the most important factor when it comes to the overall cost of installation. However, more artistic and functional styles add more value, both real and perceived to a home. That is why it is important to pay attention to the pros and cons, functionality, and cost of each of the most popular types.
Standard, smooth drywall ceilings are the easiest to install as well as the most common and preferred type, appropriate for all rooms of a home. They also generally have the lowest installation costs, ranging from around $1.60-$2.13 per square foot of installation. The most prominent factor affecting drywall installation costs is the bulk of the materials, which require several workers to safely maneuver and hang. The thickness of the drywall is also a factor.
Aesthetically, drywall ceilings do not offer much in the way of visual interest. They can be painted just like the walls of a home, but they are also subject to peeling and cracking with age, which eventually necessitates repairs.
Common in businesses and additions, drop ceilings offer homeowners a less-expensive option perfect for large spaces like finished basements. In addition, the removable tiles make hiding wires and accessing pipes, air ducts, and the floor above easier and more convenient.
Generally about half as expensive as standard drywall, drop ceilings are lighter in weight and can be installed by a single contractor. They offer little in terms of aesthetics, but their functionality makes them a wise choice for a project with a tighter budget.
Adding a vaulted ceiling to a new build or remodel is one of the most expensive add-ons that homeowners can choose. It is not uncommon for a raised ceiling project to cost upwards of $25,000 on a remodel and several thousand for a new build. However, the effects of raising a standard 8-foot ceiling to 10-12 feet are quite dramatic in terms of both aesthetics as well as overall home value. It is estimated that they add up to 25 percent onto the value of a home, particularly in older, smaller homes.
Aesthetically, vaulted ceilings add depth and light to a room and create the illusion of space, which is a great way to add an expansive feeling to an existing build that lacks room on its lot for an addition. In higher-end homes, they are the type of upgrade that is expected, however.
Popular in homes built between the late 1930s and early 1990s, popcorn ceilings have largely fallen out of favor for both aesthetic and health reasons in the 21st century. In fact, removal is more popular than installation, particularly in homes built prior to 1977, because it was not until then that the EPA banned the use of asbestos in textured ceiling paint.
These days, the installation of popcorn ceilings, also known as acoustic ceilings or textured ceilings, is decidedly safer but far less popular. When they are installed, they do provide some benefits because their textured finish conceals imperfections, covering up a botched drywall or mudding job. Priced at approximately $1.10-$1.37 per square foot, textured ceilings offer a more affordable finishing option than traditional drywall.
Providing both texture and architectural elements, the coffered ceiling blends the benefits of vaulted and popcorn ceilings to offer homeowners a more affordable and aesthetically pleasing option. These are essentially a series of crossed beams or panels that are customized to each space. It is easy to personalize the look of a coffered ceiling to reflect individual aesthetic tastes as well as a room's decor through different wood types, finishes, and paint colors or effects.
At a cost of approximately $25 per square foot, coffered ceilings cost more than traditional drywall but also add value to a home by giving it an upscale, customized look.
Whether added during remodeling or integrated as part of your build, the rustic look of beams adds character, texture, and interest to any room. To achieve beam ceilings, most homeowners add timber to an existing room or expose the support beams of a home. This facilitates a variety of designs and personalization options, including the type of wood and finish, which homeowners can coordinate with the rest of their home or room's decor.
Beam ceiling costs vary according to the type the homeowners choose, whether natural or aesthetic, as well as the type of wood they use for the beams and the overall number and length of those beams. Because of these factors, installation prices can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
The most significant factor affecting the price of any type of ceiling installation is the size of the room, because more space means more time and materials are needed to complete a project. However, in the case of drywall projects, the inverse may actually be the case. Many general contractors actually charge more per square foot for small drywall projects because of the hassle of transporting the drywall and other materials needed. For this reason, adding on to a drywall ceiling and including several rooms or other drywall projects along with a ceiling installation may actually save homeowners money than if each project were done independently.